Welcome to All in One Bonsai

Bitten by the Bug


Welcome to All in One Bonsai...a blog that aims to remind me of what I have forgotten. Over the years I have been finding out as much as I can about the art of bonsai. I hope the information in this blog will shed some light to the beginning bonsai enthusiast out there.


I saw some bonsai trees at a corner market one night in Taipei and asked the guy if he was willing to teach me how to create these miniature trees. He directed me to a night school where all the instruction was in Chinese. My Chinese ability is very ordinary at the least so although I was learning bits and pieces, I really wasn't getting all I wanted from the course. The best parts were when the teacher would start pruning a beautiful tree or when he showed us how to repot a bonsai. The mystery was still out there but my interest wasn't waning, if anything it fueled my motivation to find out more. And so I did.


Let the adventure begin...


Recently I have discovered the joy of pottery. Bonsai and pottery are close friends so it was only a matter of time before I was introduced to her. Welcome to All in One Bonsai...and pottery.


Feel free to visit my site where you can purchase some of my handmade pottery. Quite a few pieces have been wood fired as it is the prefered method here in Taiwan:

AllinoneCeramics



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Yinge

Yinge is an area on the outskirts of Taipei City.  The area has a deep history of pottery and is a Mecca of pottery enthusiasts who visit from all around Taiwan.  

Hundreds of years ago the Chinese that came from mainland China quickly discovered that the area of Yinge was rich in clay deposits.  They established wood fired kilns that produced many of the roof tiles for the houses around Taipei at that time.  

Interestingly, Taiwan was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945.  The Japanese were expanding their Empire during this period.  Taiwan was their first overseas colony and they sort to make Taiwan into a 'model colony.'  The Japanese tried to improve Taiwan's economy, industry, and also its culture.  Even to this day the older generation of Taiwanese who experienced both cultures hold a certain degree of nostalgia towards that time.

The Japanese brought their pottery making skills to Yinge.  Yinge is a mixture of Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese pottery techniques.  It was where many of the large factories produced thousands of pottery works that were shipped all around the world.  Today it remains a pottery haven but the introduction of plastic has reduced the need for pottery over time.  However, there seems to be a resurgence for pottery not so much as useful items but more as a show piece and work of art that can be displayed in such places like offices, hotel lobbies and restaurants.  

Last weekend our pottery teacher took us to Yinge to view some of the working kilns still used today.  We also took time to view some pieces that were displayed in their newly built museum.  

These tea cups were made from high quality Japanese clay.


Small milk jugs.  We bought 5 of them.  The plan is to paint a simple design on them and add a beautiful glaze.

Two potters.  The guy who has his back to us is our teacher, aged 70!

Waiting for some tea while trying to block out the itchiness of the mosquito bite on my head.  

Annie likes this one.

Some of our pottery is in this wood fired kiln.

Some local pottery.
                                 

That sake vessel is mine.

An elegant tea pot and cups.

Simple but classy.

Would make for a nice display.

Art.

I liked the painting of mountains.

Clay that has been made to look like rocks.

Beautiful glaze.

Zen?

Nice.

Maybe the holes should be on the bottom and then we can use this bowl as a bonsai pot.

Good balance and great colour.

Speaks of age.

A high quality container.  

I want to learn how to make this!

You could probably drink red wine out of this.

I really like the colour.  

Maybe they just added glaze at the top and let it drip as it was in the kiln?

A nice big lip.

Older pottery before the invention of the pottery wheel.  I can see this as a bonsai pot.

Some Taiwanese aboriginal pottery.  

We will be sure to visit Yinge again and take more time to look through the museum and also to read about its fascinating history.  

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bonsai Nurseries in Taiwan

As I am still on summer holidays here in Taiwan I had the chance of visiting some more bonsai nurseries two hours drive south from Taipei.  I was lucky enough to travel with Jack Lin and his wife.  Jack is a bonsai teacher and friend.  

Apart from seeing more of Taiwan and eating different food, I also decided to buy.  I need to fill up my upstairs balcony/rooftop with what I hope will be 50 trees.

Please enjoy some pictures of a few bonsai nurseries in Taiwan.

The first nursery we walked into on a hot 37 degree afternoon.

I would like to have some of these!

It doesn't take too long before my shopping cart begins to fill.

Nice bonsai, however Jack didn't like the cookie cutter style of almost every tree at this nursery.

I don't have a problem with it though.  Maybe I am easily pleased?

Plenty of sunshine in this part of the world.

Hello there.

Black Pine imported from Japan.  There were two I saw that would probably eventually die.  More make it than not and Taiwanese pay a lot of money for these very old Black Pines.

Green all around.

Jack tells me this particular tree is called a Desert Rose.  They graft so easily in the summer.

Anyone for a pine?
 For Goodness Sake...IT'S A FAKE!
The next three pictures are of fake bonsai trees.  The interesting part for me was that the trunk and larger branches are real wood that has died.  They then drilled small holes into this dead wood and stuck in some small branches and leaves made from plastic.

Not the real thing but....

they are...

easy to look after....sorry I had to say it.

Back to the real stuff.  This warehouse sold thousands of pots and gardening tools.  Bonsai trees are never too far away.

Huge bonsai pots.

Have you ever thought of that?

Different.

The Desert Rose grafting.  They take in about 2 weeks!

A plant I saw at another nursery.  Amazing.

Juniper trees wired.

I bought 2 of these.

Chinese Elm 

A good view of how you can develop taper in a bonsai tree.

Some bigger junipers.

Some of these larger junipers have had their top section lobbed off.  This reduces the tree's height and forces more side branches to grow.
Elm roots that have been used as cuttings.
The roots have good natural movement at their base and then you can graft a smaller cutting to the top.
If you let them grow they will develop into what you see here.  Chinese Elm trees are so tough and forgiving.

Hope you enjoyed some pictures from my day trip.  I ended up buying about 20 trees.  I hope to upload what these guys look like on my rooftop soon.  I am trying to create a mini nursery of my own.